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Younger people should not ignore creating an estate plan

The idea of drafting estate planning documents and formulating strategies for the long-range future might be something that many Texans view as the responsibility of older people. However, younger people are well-advised to be aware of the need to craft an estate plan. While many are of the belief that this is contingent on having significant assets, it is not the case. The main goal behind any estate plan is to make certain that loved ones are cared for in the event of incapacitation or death. The creation of a cogent plan does not have to be complex. Being aware of foundational issues is key.

The person taking out the estate plan should determine who the decision-maker should be. This goes beyond wills. When turning 18, having a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney are two musts. Once these individuals are named, they can make decisions in the person's stead should it be necessary to do so. Other aspects make a durable power of attorney beneficial such as when the person is out of the country and might need a parent to help with financial issues while they are away.

When a young adult gets a steady job, it is wise to have a review of beneficiaries. The first job might have certain benefits like a retirement plan or life insurance. These accounts must have a beneficiary and if the person is not married, deciding on whom that should be is important. Wills are imperative so the assets can be distributed if there is a death. This is particularly important if there is a long-term romantic relationship, but the couple is not married. That person left behind will not receive anything after a death unless there is a legal document saying that it should be so.

While a younger person who does not have significant disposable income will often try to avoid paying a legal professional for advice when it would be beneficial, one issue that should not be scrimped on is estate planning. Since this is a part of a person's life that is often overlooked, having legal help is a useful way to determine how best to go about having an estate plan that fits in with the person's situation and goals.

Source: finance.yahoo.com, "Why You Should Start Estate Planning in Your 20s," Maryalene LaPonsie, March 16, 2017

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